KIEV, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Wednesday invited opposition leaders for emergency talks to seek a peaceful solution to the ongoing political tensions in the country.
"It is still not too late to stop the violence and resolve the conflict peacefully. Once again, I urge the opposition to join negotiations and put an end to the confrontation," Yanukovych said in his address to the nation posted on the presidential website.
Yanukovych expressed his deep regret over the deaths of people in violent clashes between riot police and protesters and urged citizens not to succumb to provocations of radical activists.
Yanukovych stressed that he does not accept the bloodshed, the use of force and violence.
At least two demonstrators were reported to have been killed in Kiev on Wednesday morning during clashes with officers. The country's General Prosecutor Office said that the people have been shot dead.
Local media have also said that another protester, a 22-year-old student wounded during clashes on Sunday, died in hospital on Wednesday night. However, there was no official confirmation on the case yet.
On Wednesday morning, demonstrators attacked police with sticks and "Molotov cocktails" , while officers responded with stun grenades.
The incident marked the fourth day of confrontations between police and protesters, angry at a new legislation which bans the wearing of masks and helmets during public assembly and allows a jail term of up to five years for those who block public buildings.
Since last weekend, hundreds of people have been injured during the unrest in central Kiev.
Protests in Ukraine began on Nov. 21, following a government decision to put on hold an association agreement with the European Union and opt for closer relations with Russia.
KIEV, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov denied riot police officers involvement in deaths of protesters in central Kiev early Wednesday, saying that demonstrators are responsible for the casualties.
"The casualties are on the conscience and on the responsibility of the organizers and some participants of the riots," Azarov told a government meeting. Full story